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Guide to the NACA Ames Aeronautical Laboratory Records at NARA College Park, 1939-1958
RG255  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and its precursor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), comprise Record Group 255 of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). At the College Park, Maryland facility of NARA (known as "Archives II"), there are two groups of textual records and one group of photographic records that contain documents pertinent to Ames. Materials in these groups are presented in this guide, and include research authorizations, material from pubic affairs officers, and photographs.
Background
The Ames Aeronautical Laboratory was the second laboratory of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA). The NACA was created by act of Congress on March 3, 1915 and charged with the development of aeronautical research and testing facilities to improve both civil and military aviation. By 1917 the NACA had built a fully operational aeronautical research facility called the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory near Norfolk, Virginia. By 1939, American political leaders recognized that the world was heading toward war and that other nations had surpassed the United States in basic aeronautical research. NACA leaders recognized that the Langley laboratory had run out of space for new wind tunnels and was straining the electrical capacity in the area. Thus, the Roosevelt Administration forcefully endorsed a report from the NACA Special Committee on Future Research Facilities, dated December 30, 1938, that argued for the establishment of a second research installation near the West Coast aircraft manufacturers. The tentative site suggested was the U.S. Naval Air Field and Army training base at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California. On February 3, 1939 President Roosevelt transmitted the $10 million request to Congress for incorporation into the second deficiency bill. A stiff partisan political struggle followed, however, and it was not until August 9, 1939, that the funds were approved as a part of the third deficiency bill.
Extent
Number of containers: 28
Restrictions
Copyright does not apply to United States government records. For non-government material, researcher must contact the original creator.
Availability
Collection is open for research.